Ah the Hang Over Run. The first run of the new year, playing in the snow. Great way to start the year off right.
Most of us met at the Buzz Inn for breakfast at 8am and in a rare occurrence of events we all were ready to go at 9am (when planned) and headed up the road to Tonga. As we left town the WADOT information sign said the pass was closed at mile marker 58 because of avalanche danger. Oh this will be interesting.
We all turned off on the Foss River Road (which was plowed) and started to run up the road looking for the place to leave the tow rigs and trailers. Alas it was not to be so easy though as there were a couple of tow vehicles that got stuck on the packed snow. So with branches and heavy snow coming down around us we put chains on the tow rigs or hooked them up to straps and got everything up to the spot we were going to leave everything. Did I mention the trees leaning on the power lines on the way up the road, and that the rain have made the snow really heavy. We all made it to the end of the road where Karl, Tom, Mike, Penny, and Chad had left there tow rigs earlier and started the run ahead of us. Karl’s rig was already back on the trailer as he had broken it at Reiter the week before and did not find out how bad until he took it out again. Anyone have an extra Detroit?
Finally we all were on the trail and catching up fast to everyone in the front. It was slow going busting trail for Tom, Chad, and Terry as they had there own issues early on. We found evidence of that when we found hole that Chad had made when the snow gave was over a culvert his rig rolled over on its side. He had to be winched out and after looking at the pictures I have to say I do not think it was a roll over (sorry Mark you keep the cow bell). A little later on we got to the first switch back which was interesting as a few people kept falling into the low side of the corner and into the soft snow. Once they fell into the soft stuff it was all over and the winch came out to get you back on top in the packed snow. At the same time people were getting pulled onto the hard stuff four snow machines came bombing up the trail we made. We waved them around and they took the opportunity to get out in front of us. It took them a while but they finally got past ad in front of Tom. The lead sled only went about 150 feet past Tom in the before he got stuck. I think that when Tom passed him it was the final straw and the sled driver decided to turn around. Tom kept going though as we were not ready just yet to end it for the day.
Finally about another hour later with the oil pressure on Scrambler Mike’s rig getting flaky (the YJ) we decided to turn things around. Everyone managed to get turned around, some with a little more help than others, and we started to head back down the hill. Shortly after heading back down the hill Mike’s oil pressure came back, some what so it looked like he was going to make it home under his own power. The next bit of fun happened when we got back to the tow rigs and trailers. There was another group of wheelers just starting out up our track and they were already having issues on the packed snow. In fact they were still having issues when we left as some of there rigs just did not appear to be setup to run the snow. A LEO showed up about this time also and although I did not talk to him I do not think that there were any problems.
Of course this was not the end of the issues of course. There was not a lot of room where the tow rigs were parked and so we were packed in there pretty good. It did not help though that someone in a Subaru Wagon had blocked John in so that he could not back up. As a result it took a while to get everyone turned around, loaded up, and heading down the road toward the highway. Even then there was still at least one tow rig on the end of a strap again due to the slick conditions on the road. Coming back down I noticed that there were about 6 more trees fallen on the power lines also (where there was just one before). Now with everyone back on the highway it was time to get down the road and find some dinner. Thank you to everyone that came on the run. It was a good day all in all even if the weather was a little wet.
Happy New Year